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CEHD and U of M Word Marks


206 Burton Hall
178 Pillsbury Drive SE
Minneapolis, MN 55455

Fax: 612-624-3377

Undergraduate Studies:

Graduate Studies:


Ph.D. in OLPD: Higher Education (HE) Program


The doctor of philosophy (Ph.D.) degree in organizational leadership, policy, and development with a program track in higher education (HE) provides an opportunity for intensive study of the policies and organizational issues in higher education institutions and systems.

HE focuses on the experiences, practices, and decisions of those involved in post-secondary education, as well as on the sociopolitical contexts in which higher education exists. Areas of specialization include administration and organization, policy, college students, external relations, equity-oriented change, and research integrity.

Who enrolls in this program?
Students enrolled in HE are the future leaders, university faculty members and/or administrators, policy analysts and researchers in the field of higher education. The program is selective and is limited to 10 students each year. All new students begin the program in the fall semester.

What will my program look like?
The Ph.D. requires that students take at least 48 credits of coursework. With adviser approval, students can transfer 9-18 semester credits from their master's degree toward these 48 Ph.D. credits. In addition, 24 semester thesis credits will be required for the dissertation for a total of 72 credits. Typically, a course that meets once a week throughout the semester is three credits. Students can complete the coursework on either a full-time or part-time basis.

See HE curriculum details.

How long will my Ph.D. program take?
Attending full time, including summers, students often can complete the required coursework in 2 to 2½ years. During this time they complete preliminary written and oral examinations. Many students are able to complete their dissertation in another 1 to 2 years. Upon completion of the dissertation, students take a final oral examination. Doctoral students must complete all their requirements and receive their degree within five calendar years after passing their preliminary oral examination.


Questions regarding the admissions process, admissions documents, or general information about the program should be directed to:

Dr. Jeremy Hernandez
Coordinator of Graduate Studies

Specific questions regarding course content should be directed to:

Dr. Karen Miksch
Coordinator, Higher Education Programs

Revised July 9, 2014


Applications are due December 1, 2017 for 2018 Fall semester start.

Fall semester start only.

Only students accepted in the December review are considered for assistantships.

Admission requirements

Click to apply

Fall 2017 online application will be available starting August 2017.